Why did my betta fish die after I changed the water?

In this blog, we will discuss why bettas may die after changing water in their aquarium.

Overview

In this blog

  • Why did my betta fish die after I changed the water?
  • Can large water changes affect the water chemistry of bettas?
  • How to perform water changes in a bettas tank to avoid shock from sudden and large water changes?
  • Do water changes eliminate beneficial bacterias from the bettas tank?
  • Are there only beneficial bacterias in tank water?
  • Do water changes stress betta fish?
  • What water parameters change by performing large water changes in a bettas tank?
  • Things to keep in mind while performing water changes in bettas tank
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference

Why did my betta fish die after I changed the water?

Regularly changing water in the aquarium is important for keeping the aquarium healthy, but a sudden, large water change can cause a drastic shift in water parameters that can be too much for betta fish to tolerate.This often results in their death. 

Fish who do not die immediately are likely to be stressed and contract a disease within the next few weeks.

Can large water changes affect the water chemistry of bettas?

With fish, plants, and beneficial bacteria, all three interacting with each other, an ecosystem is created in a tank. The fish waste produced contains harmful ammonia that is broken down by bacteria and is then taken up by plants.

The process of creating this ecosystem and other changes is slow. Changes in water chemistry that occur naturally take place very slowly, so fish get used to it over time.

It’s ironic that clean water can be harmful to your betta fish, while water with bacteria and other organisms in it can be beneficial to them.

A large water change that includes more than 80% water change can cause a dramatic change in the water chemistry. The fish experience temperature shock, stress, and then death when placed in these new conditions.

The aquarium water contains helpful bacteria that help to keep the water free from harmful ammonia levels present in fish waste. Large water changes can kill off beneficial bacteria, leading to an imbalance in the aquarium’s ecosystem.

Fish produce waste that contains ammonia, but the absence of these bacteria means that the ammonia remains in its toxic form. The accumulation of ammonia can cause ammonia burns, which can then lead to the death of the betta fish.

How to perform water changes in a bettas tank to avoid shock from sudden and large water changes?

Water changes may seem risky and not useful at all, but if we keep up with the systematic change in water and some simple steps, we can lower the risk of killing the fish and corrupting the tank ecosystem.

There are two ways to change a betta’s water: a partial water change, or a total water change. A partial water change is usually preferable, as it allows the fish to adjust more gradually to a new water environment.

Instead of performing large water changes in bettas tanks, you can go ahead with partial water changes.When a partial water change is carried out, pH, KH, mineral levels are regenerated and the levels of nitrate and phosphate are reduced.

Old, tired water is replaced with fresh water and partial water changes are prescribed to keep tanks healthy.

  • Prepare the fresh water. Leave your betta’s current container aside and use a water conditioner to remove chlorine and other harmful substances from the fresh new  water.
  • It is not safe to put your betta into water that is a different temperature than the water it is accustomed to. Let the container of fresh, treated water sit at room temperature for an hour so that your fish will be safe and comfortable.
  • Remove your betta from its current aquarium to a fresh water container. When moving your fish, be very careful not to injure its fins.
  • Empty the old water from your betta’s tank. Wipe down the container with just water, using a clean, soft cloth avoiding detergents and other products can harm your fish. Make sure to clean the tank’s gravel to remove waste, leftovers, etc.
  • Take a little of the fresh water from the container your betta is currently in and put it into its new container. Pour enough water so that your betta will be able to move around comfortably in its container.
  • With a fish net, transfer your betta from the holding tank into its main tank, now partially filled with fresh water. Make sure you are very gentle when moving your fish.
  • Take the remaining fresh water from the tank and pour it slowly into your betta’s main container. Pouring slowly is important so you don’t upset your betta fish.
  • To sum it up- In order to make a partial water change, you will take some water from a betta container and replace it with some treated fresh water. 
  • Take out 25 percent of the water in your betta’s current container. Leave your betta in the container as you remove the water.

Do water changes eliminate beneficial bacterias from the bettas tank?

If you do a big water change using a gravel vacuum to remove a lot of debris or if you also clean the filter at the same time, a lot of the tank’s beneficial bacteria could die and the tank may start recycling again.

It is very important to do water changes very carefully without disturbing the beneficial bacterias.

Are there only beneficial bacterias in tank water?

If the tank contains good bacteria, that means there is also bad bacteria, parasites, and other harmful microorganisms present. 

Fishes that live in healthy water conditions will not get sick even if they are exposed to any disease. As the water quality declines, the number of parasites increases too.

It is very important to maintain pristine water conditions in bettas tanks and while performing water changes using gravel siphon, remove debris carefully without disturbing beneficial bacterias.

Do water changes stress betta fish?

Water changes can be stressful for your betta, but they are a necessary part of keeping your fish healthy. Changing the water is going to stress him out more than leaving it the way it is. You should perform water changes every week or two, depending on the size of the tank.

Water changes are good for the aquatic inhabitants of the tank, but they must be done carefully to avoid death of your betta fish.

What water parameters change by performing large water changes in a bettas tank?

  • The nitrate level was too high before you changed the water.
  • The new water temperature was not high enough for the aquarium.
  • You didn’t add a Dechlorinator to the tank, or you added it too late.
  • You vacuumed the whole substrate using a gravel siphon and removed the beneficial bacterias.

Things to keep in mind while performing water changes in bettas tank

  • Never perform large water changes in a bettas tank suddenly.
  • Dont disturb beneficial bacterias while cleaning gravels or removing leftovers.
  • Always acclimatize your bettas, before putting them to a new water.
  • Don’t make water changes frequently, as it can stress your betta fish.
  • Schedule regular water changes to help your fish stay healthy. Understanding the time frame for cleaning the tanks and changing water planning accordingly.
  • Never clean gravel and filter on the same day. Clean the filter 2 days after the water change.

Summary

  • Large and sudden water changes can kill your betta. Whenever you perform a water change, your betta needs to get used to the new water.
  • A 100% water change is a bad idea. There isn’t much that a 100% water change can do in terms of replacing severely contaminated water. If you do this, the substrate and filter media will be exposed to air, effectively killing the beneficial bacterias.
  • The constant changing of water is likely to stress your betta. Partial water changes with filters installed are a better way to maintain a healthy aquarium.
  • If your betta fish die after a water change, this probably has to do with the sudden shift of the water parameters.

Frequently asked questions

Why is it important to acclimatize bettas?

In order to avoid shock from sudden and large water changes, it is very important to acclimatize your bettas.

What is the correlation between water changes and beneficial bacterias?

Replacing all of the water in your fish tank can be a bad idea because it will remove the beneficial bacteria that live in the tank and restart the nitrogen cycle, which could kill your betta fish.

What will happen if we don’t change the water in bettas tank?

If we don’t perform water changes in bettas tanks, the dissolved toxins will build up and eventually harm the fish’s immune system, making them more susceptible to disease or stress.

Why is it important to perform water changes in a bettas tank?

Water changes are essential for both fish health and avoiding cloudy or toxic water. By removing the filthy water from the fish tank and replacing it with pure and fresh water, you will mainly relieve excess nutrients that can negatively affect the environment of the fish tank.

Reference

https://creature-companions.in/why-fish-die-after-a-water-change-and-how-to-prevent-it/
https://www.wikihow.com/Change-Your-Betta-Fish-Water
https://aquanswers.com/fish-died-after-water-change/

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?